“Every Conversation Was PASSION and HOPE” by #ASTE19 Keynote Speaker Robyn Hrivnatz, Senior Manager of Education Strategy at Microsoft

Unplugged ASTE 2019

The Alaska Society for Technology in Education (ASTE) 2019 Conference has ended but my hope for the future of education has only been reignited. The gentle snowfall each day in Anchorage was the perfect backdrop to a showcase of educators successfully sharing and learning together. I know that they will be changing student lives in the near future as they bring their optimism and hope back to their classrooms and begin implementing new strategies and resources into their lessons.

Robyn Hrivnatz during her keynote at ASTE

Weren’t able to join the event in person? No worries. In this blog post, I’ll share some of the my takeaways of the conference so you, too, can join in the learning.  Attendees were also great about sharing their learnings on Twitter. You can access additional resources by searching #ASTE19 on Twitter.

Alaska educators are rocking CS

It is clear that Alaska is a leader among the 50 states of educators understanding the importance of creating critical thinkers. I think one of the most discussed topics at the conference was integrating computational thinking and computer science into the classroom. Computation thinking is defined as a way of solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science.

YKSD’s Luke Meinert and MatSu’s Jeff Blackburn discussing Alaska’s eSports league

I found many sessions aligned to this theme. Here are just a few that I found valuable and covered a wide audience to address many needs- CS Fundamentals for K-3rd grade levels, Robotics and Coding Exploration, Computer Science in Alaska’s Schools, and Bringing Computational Thinking into Any Classroom using Microsoft MakeCode and Hacking STEM.

#AKedchat participants


Looking for an epic PLC? Then this is the group for you. I had the opportunity to spend some time with many of the #AKedchat organizers and participants at the Meet Up Monday night after the conference day had wrapped. Not only does this group have a wealth of knowledge that they are so willing to share, they also know how to kick back and have fun. Whether you are looking to chat about personalized learning, your new favorite technology for the classroom, or just meet new friends, I highly encourage you to connect with this community on Twitter!

MatSu’s Victoria Flint and Jeff Blackburn discussing Girls Who Code camps

The passion for our students and hope for the future unites us all

As I popped in and out of many sessions and held conversations with many attendees, the commonality of every conversation was PASSION and HOPE. Educators enter the profession because of the passion they have for learning, recognizing the potential of learners, and the hope to have others to leave this planet in a better state than we found it.  There is good in this world and if we all take time to connect with each other, share ideas, and actively listen to one another, I think we will have a bright and awe-inspiring future to look forward to being a part of.

Have a story to share from your own school/district? You can either fill out this Google form, or simply send Sam Jordan content directly to work up a post.  We are looking for posts of no more than 500 words, accompanied by 1-2 pictures if available. If you need ideas, check out this doc https://bit.ly/2HDqyGx